Next, I had met several homeschoolers at the library children’s hour, so I knew there had to be some resources there. After consulting with the friendly librarian, I found Mary Pride’s Guide to Homeschooling and Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 Homeschool Picks. Consulting these two books helped The Man of the House and me to pin down our goals and style.
We happen to be more structured, leaning toward the classical method. I was intrigued by the student-teacher dialogue and learning the way Plato did. Not to mention clear, chronological history lessons. And Logic, and Latin, and Great Books, Oh My!
Please Note: The great thing about homeschooling is picking what works for you and your family. If reading Homer to your first grader or teaching Latin to your third grader sounds like torture, you might not be a classical model teacher. Thank you.
If you are interested in the classical method, the “owner’s manual” is The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. Now, usually, I think, why buy what you can get for free at the library. But, I found it so useful, I actually bought my own copy.
Here’s what I love. Twelve years of education, broken down to three periods of learning, furthur divided by subject, then step-by-step how-to descriptions for each grade. I need to know what they suggest for first grade reading? Flip to Grammar stage, Language, reading section. There it is, read aloud, read together, read for fun, read great literature. Followed by a list of recommended texts.
It just doesn’t get much simpler than that without selling you something.
Which brings me to another point. Although Wise and Wise Bauer (mother/daughter homeschool veterans) have written several books for curriculum, you can read the Well-Trained Mind and follow their system without using their books. They suggest multiple curriculum lines. I think that’s admirable. Shows they understand the personalization of homeschool.
But don’t take my word for it. (Do you remember that from Reading Rainbow?)